RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The mercury read well in to the 90’s today, but the Boys and Girls Club on North Raleigh Boulevard was packed anyway for the 12th annual Back to School Community Day.
The event was put on by North Carolina Central University head men’s basketball coach Levelle Moton and NBA champion P.J. Tucker had parents lined up around the corner 30 minutes before the doors opened. Tucker won the 2021 NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks before signing a contract with the Miami Heat on Aug. 7.
“Most people do bookbag giveaways and schools supplies and that’s their prerogative,” Moton said. “But we (also) do a community day and we really serve and assist the community.”
They feel they outdid themselves this year.
Moton and Walker had backpacks for every kid that needed them.
After that, the children filed along a row of tables containing everything one could imagine a student would need for the first day of school. Volunteers handed out pens, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, notebooks, glue, sharpeners and much more.
But even still, it didn’t stop there.
Down the hall a team of barbers were hard at work getting the young men trimmed up.
Next door there was a place for manicures and pedicures.
Outside a DJ kept everyone loose.
There were also three inflatable’s for kids to play on along with games, snow cones, food trucks and even a COVID-19 vaccination station bus, free of charge, for anyone who showed up.
“One thing that’s overlooked is when I was a kid, like many kids that come from this area, back to school was a mind set,” Moton said. “Sometimes, we come from situations where it was challenging to our parents and families to provide school supplies.”
He went on to explain how “Calculators may cost $28, also (needing) haircuts and then get a back to school outfit and things of that nature,” and how all those small costs add up.
Lots of people write checks to help out kids in need, but then there are a few who write checks and then show up to put in the work of seeing something through personally. For Moton and Tucker this is different.
This is their old neighborhood. This is where they grew up. If ever there was someone that can understand the pressures and problems of those at the Boys and Girls club today it’s these two. It’s why they don’t just give back, but continue to come back, help out and inspire others.
“I never dreamed of being an example honestly,” Tucker said. “I mean we didn’t have a lot of real role models from town that we could really look at from my age group. To be an example means so much man, even when you don’t try…that’s when it happens I guess. It’s something I don’t fully understand, but I love to come home and do the best I can because these kids deserve it.”
Some came for the bookbags and school supplies. Some came to meet an NBA Champion from their neighborhood. Others simply came just to get a break from their day. But of the over 1,000 people that attended the event, nobody left without taking home a little something.